Doing it Wrong: Steve Martin and Martin Short Think it's Best Not to Insult Half Their Audience with Trump Jokes



Following my Steve Martin-theme article about Australia (please see here) comes a piece about the actual Lonely Guy. In an interview with Indiewire published Wednesday, The Jerk and his co-star Martin Short explain why they don’t makes jokes about the President in their two-man live show.


You may have caught, by the way, the pair’s Netflix special, An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life. It’s great to see Steve back on the stage, and Short is no slouch himself. They ham it up at one another’s expense — Short tells his white-haired, pasty partner, “You look like a page in a coloring book that hasn’t been colored yet.” One of Steve’s jabs: “I think of you as a renaissance man, and not just because you carry smallpox.”

Personally, I think they should be billed as Steve Martin Short.

In explaining the effectiveness of clowning one another, Steve waxes, “It’s like what families do.”

What about the family of America?

The duo has a no-go policy on Trump attacks:

“Before the election, we did a lot of Trump material, a lot of political material, and it was fine. … After the election, you started to hear comments from the audience, whether it was a yay or a boo, and we said, ‘We don’t want that. We’re not here to preach.’ So we started limiting the divisive political material from the act because you get that on late-night TV. It’s not something you want to pay [for]. We’re just trying to be funny.”



They just want to entertain people, rather than use the opportunity to lance the President at the audience’s expense????????

That seems to be the case. Brace yourself for this line by Martin Short:

“When it comes to politics, you don’t want to make half the audience feel like they’re inappropriate.”


Consider your audience???? What would Stephen Colbert think??

As for Steve Martin, it’s not his thing:

“For me, it’s not my forte. I’m not known as a political comedian for a reason — I actually made a choice a long, long time ago. I just feel it takes the audience out of the show a little bit.”

I want to just stop the article there — let you just bask in that breath of fresh air. But here’s a little more information, courtesy of the Wild and Crazy Guy:

“When I finished stand-up comedy in 1980, I never wanted to see a live audience again. … I did movies for 10 or 20 years and only occasionally would be found in front of a live audience for, you know, awards shows or charity events or something like that. And now, it’s the only place I want to be.

“I like it because, in a way — and this is odd to say — it’s private. You’re not putting something on the internet for every troll to comment on. … I think we’re sensitive. I like having the audience there — they’re predisposed to like you because they bought a ticket and predisposed to listen and not judge you every two seconds.”

Steve Martin, ladies and gentleman.

I can’t wrap this up without making a few recommendations. If you haven’t read the legendary standup comedian’s book, Born Standing Up, I highly suggest you do so. And here are a few of my favorite Steve Martin movies, in no particular order: Bowfinger, The Lonely Guy, The Jerk, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. And with Martin Short, The Three Amigos. If you’ve lived this long without having seen all of them, take a moment to thank God for your chance to make up for lost time this weekend. Also surprisingly good: Steve Martin’s turn as Inspector Clouseau in two Pink Panther films, which maintain their own sense of humor rather than attempting a retread of Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers’s masterpieces. For something more serious, check out Steve in David Mamet’s thriller, The Spanish Prisoner.


Please give us all a list of your favorite projects. From both comedians. It’s a bonus if you provide your favorite lines. I look forward to reading all of them.



Thank you for reading!

For something totally different, please check out my coverage of Kansas City and co-ed pooping, Lindsay Lohan and #MeToo, and the grandma with the Glock.

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